10 Best Toys to Keep Dogs Busy in 2023 – Top Picks & Reviews
Pups are very good at improvising toys. If you would rather they stick to their own stuff (rather than gnawing on your furniture) you should look into some high-quality dog toys.
The products on the list today have been specifically vetted—not just against our standards but against those of many dogs. The aim was to assemble a list of the best toys for dogs on the market. All the products made the cut based on how dogs enjoyed playing with them and for how long the toy kept their attention.
Keep reading for our in-depth dog toy reviews!
A Quick Look at our Favorites (Updated 2023):
|Best Overall||High Five Pets Dog Squeaky Toys||
|Best Value||QINUKER QIN-WG Dog Ball Toys||
|Premium Choice||Pupper Pamper Dog Food Puzzle Toy||
|ZippyPaws Hide and Seek Dog Plush Toy||
|West Paw Zogoflex Treat Toy for Dogs||
The 10 Best Toys To Keep Your Dog Busy Reviewed:
1. High Five Pets Dog Squeaky Toys – Best Overall
The High Five Pets Dog Squeaky toys are durable and safe. The plushy exterior has been fortified to survive the rigorous tests that dogs and their teeth put things through. We were partial to the fact that the interior does not feature any stuffing. This is good because it lessens the chance that there will be anything dangerous in the toy for your canine to chew on.
However, the toys feature a squeaky component that will amuse your pup to no end. Unfortunately, no cloth toy will ever be perfect. Eventually, these toys will develop holes at which point they will need to be replaced. They make the list and receive our best overall score because dogs can’t get enough of them.
- Safe for dogs
- No plush filling
- Squeaky element
- Will eventually break down
2. QINUKER QIN-WG Dog Ball Toys – Best Value
The Quinuker ball is delightfully unique. It features an affordable price tag, an extremely durable exterior, and an interesting open-slot design concept. For these reasons, we have identified this option as our best dog toy for the money. The unit is like most other dog balls that can be used for fetch and other common puppy games.
The ball has holes to hide treats within. This will provide your dog with even more entertainment than a typical ball.
Unfortunately, there is a bit of a safety issue. When the ball starts to degrade (all dog toys will eventually) it can break up into parts that are unsafe for your dog to swallow.
- Unique design concept
- Loose pieces may be unsafe for dogs
3. Pupper Pamper Dog Food Puzzle Toy – Premium Choice
Ah, the food puzzle. This is a good toy for leaving your dog mentally exhausted. You put food inside the puzzle, and your dog sniffs it out and spends a good deal of time trying to retrieve it.
The puzzle features three bone-shaped food dispensers. To access the food, your dog needs to nuzzle the spinner so that the pebbles are dispersed.
This particular unit has been designed to be durable and engaging. Your dog will interact with the equipment for long periods without a safety risk.
These things said, it is fairly pricey. If you are on a restrictive budget, this won’t be the toy for you.
- Stimulates your dog mentally
- Hours of fun
- Very durable
- Pretty pricey
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4. ZippyPaws Hide and Seek Dog Plush Toy
In a way, the ZippyPaws is actually several toys in one. This affordable unit features a plush log, inside of which you will find several more plush chipmunks. Your dog can root around in the log to dig out the chipmunks. In that regard, it is another toy that serves to be both physically and mentally stimulating.
The extra plush figures also just give you more bang for your buck. When your dog eventually chews through the toys, you can introduce backups, saving you money in the long run.
This toy has been designed with durability in mind. However, all plush toys will struggle against vigorous attacks. This is particularly true if you have a bigger dog.
- Multiple toys in one
- Design concept stimulates brain
- Durability problems especially for bigger dogs
Also see: Water toys for your dog!
5. West Paw Zogoflex Treat Toy for Dogs
Next, another puzzle toy. The West Paw 560 allows you to hide treats within a durable chew toy. Your dog gets mental and physical stimulation as it tries to access the treat.
This unit is specifically designed to be difficult, which prolongs the life of the toy and keeps your dog busy for long periods.
It also comes with a fairly unique and generous guarantee. If your dog manages to damage the toy, the company will give you your money back.
Unfortunately, when the rubberized elements of the toy break down, they may serve as a choking hazard to your dog. Granted, this is usually the case, but the rubber will be particularly difficult for your pooch to digest.
- Generous manufacturer guarantee
- Excellent for mentally stimulating your dog
- Reliably durable
- Rubber elements may be difficult for dogs to digest
6. Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball
The Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball is the perfect way to encourage your dog to play on its own. Treats are loaded up into the ball, at which point your dog can swat it around the room. The more your dog plays, the more treats they get.
The design concept is such that the treat release system is made to work slowly. This means that your dog can play for long periods without issue.
Unfortunately, the treat dispersal system is limited by its size. Most dog treats will be too big to fit inside. You may have better luck with kibble, but that might not hold your dog’s attention.
- Not suited for larger treats
7. TRIXIE Pet Products Flip Board
The Trixie Flip Board is specifically designed for smaller dogs. It features a variety of switches and nobs that your dog can spend hours playing and experimenting with. The toy is also available at a variety of different skill levels, making it a good option for a wide range of dogs. The exterior of the toy is also designed to be durable.
The only real issue is that many people find their dogs aren’t interested in the puzzle. It does not dispense treats often enough to hold attention. For the right pooch, it is still a great product but you will need to consider your dog’s unique needs.
- Available for range of skill levels
- Time-consuming for dogs
- Some dogs just aren’t interested
8. Idepet Dog Toy Ball
The Idepet dog toy ball is actually made for dogs and cats. As you might imagine, this means that bigger dogs probably won’t be well suited for it. However, your smaller pooch shouldn’t run into much trouble.
This is another puzzle-style toy. Treats are hidden within crevices of the ball. The more your cat or dog plays, the more treats they get. It’s a very affordable way to provide your pet with a ton of fun. Unfortunately, many people will find that it is undersized for their dog.
Simply put, products that are sized for a 7-pound cat rarely scale well to 30-pound mutts. Vigorous play will spell the doom of this ball, but it will be a fine option for smaller animals.
- Mentally stimulating
- Well suited for cats and dogs
- Vigorous play not good for toy
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9. Wisedom Dog Treat Ball
The Wisedom is a sizable toy made for larger dogs. This is a rubberized puzzle ball that dispenses treats as your dog plays. The exterior is somewhat more durable than many other toys featured on our list.
Consequently, it is a good way to keep your dog occupied for long periods. Unfortunately for budget buyers, this is a fairly expensive dog toy. For the money, you could certainly buy several cheaper options.
It is also worth noting that if your dog were to swallow some of the toy, it would be very hard on their stomachs. It is still a good toy but you will want to be mindful of how your dog uses it.
- Can be very hard on dog stomach
- Related Read: 25 Simple Ways to Entertain your Dog Outdoors
10. Tarvos Dog Food Puzzle Toy
Last, the Tarvos. This unit is like many others we’ve seen that feature a puzzle style design concept. You load treats into a spinning wheel, and your dog is able to access them when it plays with the toy.
Unfortunately though, the build quality is somewhat lacking. It is a plastic unit that will break down fairly easily in the jaws of a larger dog. Also, many pets just aren’t interested in it. While it may be a suitable option for smaller pets, the fact remains that for the price, most buyers would prefer something that is guaranteed to deliver positive results.
- Mentally engaging
- Not very durable
- Not good for bigger dogs
- Fairly pricey
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Toys to Keep Dogs Busy
And now here are some considerations that may help you choose the perfect toy for your pooch.
Dogs will eventually break every toy you give them. It doesn’t matter what it is. However, some will last longer than others. Rubber is the most fortified against the relentless teeth of your dog. However, there is a range of different materials that will stand up to wear and tear.
Unfortunately, plush, a perennial favorite in the world of dog toys, doesn’t hold up so well. If you have a smaller dog or even a bigger dog that is remarkably gentle, you might get some mileage out of plush. However, most people will regularly replace stuffed toys.
Remarkably, toys do not always do a great job of considering the safety of your dog. Ideally, you will find something that won’t be extremely harmful even if they manage to swallow some of it (because chances are good that they will).
Obviously, you don’t want your dog to swallow anything other than food. However, when the inevitable happens, some offenders are worse than others. For example, plush stuffing has been known to block canine intestines, which can be a difficult and costly fix.
Puzzle toys are great because they stimulate your dog both mentally and physically. If you want something that is sure to wipe your pooch out, puzzle toys will probably be the way to go. Just be mindful of the skill level that is required.
Different pets will require different products. If your dog has never used a puzzle toy, you may want to opt for something that is fairly simple. If the toy is too difficult, your dog will probably lose interest eventually.
So, which of our dog toy reviews spoke to you the most? Did you prefer the quality and reliability of our top choice, the High Five Pets Dog Squeaky Toys?
Or maybe you preferred the value provided by our runner up choice, the QINUKER QIN-WG Dog Ball Toys. The good news is that dog toys are fairly affordable. Chances are pretty good that you will buy several of them. Choose the right one for your pooch and watch as they light up!
Featured Image: Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball